Lightning Network developer Rusty Russell has issued a damning report on Bitcoin scalability, adding that fees would only rise from now on.
In a blog post Monday about the need to increase Bitcoin’s capacity long term, Russell said that the solutions currently available all fall short.
“Bitcoin can’t scale to meet demand unless demand vanishes and it all fails,” he wrote.
“If Bitcoin is used by 100,000 people today, and we want everyone to use it, we need Bitcoin capacity to grow 75,000 times larger. Yet we’re already struggling with 140GB of storage caused by Bitcoin’s first eight years when it was mainly not being used[.]”
While the Bitcoin network is just one day from locking in SegWit, Russell says that even this would provide only temporary relief from high fees before user demand erases the benefits.
A further hard fork and Schnorr signatures, the latter touted by commentators in the past as a useful way out of scaling difficulties, would fail to deliver at “everyone-scale.”
“The only attempt to attach growth to a metric was Pieter Wuille’s 17.7 percent per year increase,” Russel continued.
“That takes 70 years to reach everyone-scale, so no relief there in my lifetime.”
Bitcoin fees were at their lowest for months just this week, at a recommended 100 satoshis per byte. At the same time Aug. 7, suspected ‘spam’ transactions began to inflate the size of Bitcoin’s mempool, which had also been smaller than usual.